"Now I want you to open your hard drive. Click on your applications folder. Do you see a folder marked "Suicidal Impulses"? I want you to drag that to the trash." (an extract from a magazine) In a fast-changing world with revolutionary nationalist agendas by a majority of Third World countries, Pakistan stands still at a crossroads leading towards sociological decadence and an economic-political abyss. It is as if this country is stuck in time with no movement forward. We are wedged in the emptiness of space and pendency of time. On my overseas visits to my hometown, Lahore, at precisely 8:30 every morning, children at the junior school next to my residence sing in absolute unison the prayers, Lab pai ati hai dua'a bun kai taman na meri... That is fine and dandy. Decades ago, that is what we as children used to do. But the problem is that the "prayers" seem to have less and less impressionable and expressionable effect on the conduct and behaviour of those who administer the 60-year-old ritual. Just outside the school premises, with the poverty of the environment, the filth and dirt, the beggars, and the shopkeepers' encroachments on roads, the consequences of the behavioural irrelevance of the "prayers" glare in your face. It has been a deplorable sight for years - growing worse with the passing of each and every day. A sociological disaster, ad infinitum. My question is: Why doesn't the school administration integrate an hour-a-day "social and civil work" into the curriculum to give a meaningful impact to the daily "prayers"? Teachers and school pupils could go into the vicinity and teach cleanliness, care for the elderly in the neighbourhood, set standards of acceptable behaviour on the street and promote moral and civil responsibility. But it has never been done. And in all likelihood, it will not be done in the immediate future. The reason is that like the "daily prayers," everything is purely a sentimental ritual (though meaningless) for us. Our school and educational system, likewise, is purely a ritual - it lacks innovation, change and socio-intellectual variations. Our school teachers and administrators are trained to be intellectually stagnant and redundant. On top of that, "education" has become a money-making enterprise. We abhor excellence and always settle for the bare minimum. We have come to accept "sociological advancement" as a meaningless commodity that needs not to be strived for. On the political and economic front, the performance of our leaders is equally dismal. The entire political and economic leadership (without much exception) is stuck to grabbing American and Western aid in dollars as the only solution to its economic and social advancement and reform. The IMF insists that foreign investments are the sole viable means to Pakistani economic enhancement. No one seems to care that this kind of economic and developmental management leaves Pakistan as a politically dependent and economically poor country, indefinitely subjected to the ravages of capitalism and its ideological doctrine. Compare Pakistan's "solution" to the strategies of other nations. For example, the Brazilian President Lula da Silva's recent proposal to the Chinese Premier Hu Jintao at the G20 summit in London where he suggested that bilateral trade between the two countries be done through each country's local currency. "One of the biggest problems with the economic crisis is unbalanced capital flow, with the result that all the capital is leaving emerging countries and going to advanced countries," said Guido Mantega, Brazil's Economy Minister. Many other Third World countries are taking innovative and revolutionary steps at self-reliance and building nationalist economic and sociological infrastructures to deal with the changing nature of contemporary global parameters. Financial and economic independence is the mantra of the progressive and development-oriented nations in our times. This, unfortunately, is not the case yet in Pakistan. The irony of the situation is that the totality of Pakistani leadership is clueless as to what is on trial in today's contemporary world. Anglo-American capitalism with its global socio-economic-political ramifications and the destruction that it has inflicted on the entire planet - that is what's on trial. The world-at-large has realised that the time has come to put an end to the ideological capitalism. "The (so-called) creative destruction of the business-oriented political economies of the Anglo-Americans is too violent and unstable, too brutal and unpredictable. Better to regulate more tightly the international capitalists...Better to be less rich than less secure," wrote Robert Kagan of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in a recent article. The Pakistani leadership must comprehend the nucleus on the Anglo-American so-called "war on extremism" and the claim that "Pakistan is the centre of terrorism" in the context of ideological capitalism and its fundamentals for expansion (the largest gold and copper reserves are in Balochistan; an estimated $550 trillion in mineral resources are in Central Asia). Failing to do so will most certainly result in an existential threat to Pakistan's survival. The Anglo-American capitalistic doctrine is, indeed, brutal and merciless The question I pose to the Pakistani political leadership is: Why should the Pakistani jawans and citizens die for the Anglo-American occupation of Afghanistan? Why should the "Pathans" in Lahore be persecuted to please Americans (a fresh turn in our decadence-inflicted political culture)? I would be interested in a rational response Wouldn't you as well? The writer is a professor, political analyst and conflict-resolution expert. E-mail: hl_mehdi@hotmail.com